Are Glasses Better than Contacts?

Weigh the pros and cons of wearing glasses and contacts before deciding between the two. Our knowledgeable optometrists Mital Patel, OD, Mark Machen, OD, and Ashley Swalla, OD at Classic Vision Care in Kennesaw and Marietta, Georgia, help you see more clearly whether you should choose glassescontacts or a combination of both.

Pros and cons of eyeglasses

In some cases, glasses may be your best option. They require minimal upkeep, whereas contact lenses usually need daily care. In addition, glasses:

  • Won’t irritate your eyes
  • Shield your eyes from germs and debris
  • Protect you from dust and pollen in the air
  • Correct vision
  • Create a stylish look
  • Need less upkeep than contact lenses

They do, however, pose several drawbacks, and may:

  • Cause a slight distortion in your peripheral vision
  • Need a period of adjustment
  • Fog up when wearing a mask or under certain weather conditions
  • Feel uncomfortable when worn for long periods of time

Eyeglasses, however, rarely present a problem for wearers suffering from sensitive eyes.

Understanding astigmatism

Astigmatism occurs when your cornea is more elongated than round, causing blurry vision. We correct this through either glasses or contact lenses. In mild cases, soft contacts may help. With more extensive astigmatism, rigid toric lenses may be your best solution. Fitting you properly is crucial with either soft or rigid toric lenses, which must remain in a specific position on your eye.

Once our optometrists diagnose your astigmatism, they’ll help you decide between glasses or contacts. Glasses with special lenses counteract astigmatism, offering the easiest resolution. However, your side vision may appear distorted at first, and might take a week or so to appear normal.

Diagnosing astigmatism

We uncover astigmatism through various exams, using such instruments as:

  1. Keratometer. This determines the bend of your cornea.
  2. Phoropter. Various lenses measure your vision.
  3. Autorefractor. We shine a light into your eyes to see the angle it bounces off.
  4. Corneal topographer. This maps your cornea by collecting thousands of measurements.

These help determine the extent of your astigmatism, so we can decide the best option, glasses or contact lenses.

Plus and minuses of contacts

Contacts may be the superior option to glasses, since they:

  1. Conform better to your eye curvature
  2. Offer a wider field of vision
  3. Present less visual distortion and obstruction
  4. Make playing sports and working out easier
  5. Won’t fog up

Some contact lenses even reshape your cornea while you sleep, so you can see more clearly the following day.

Dry eyes and contact lenses

One of the biggest disadvantages of contact lenses may be dry eyes, which tend to be even more prevalent as we age. According to the American Optometric Association, dry eyes develop for a variety of reasons, from aging and medical conditions, such as diabetes and thyroid issues, to medications and environmental factors, including smoke and climate. Wearing contacts over time may also lead to dry eyes. If you’re experiencing dryness, speak to Dr. Patel and our team about whether wearing glasses instead of contacts might help.

The best solution

Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since people purchased their eyeglasses from vendors through trial and error without any sort of exam. Our expert optometrists perform a thorough eye exam to ensure you choose the best eyewear for your needs. If you’d like to get fitted for glasses, contacts, or both, or simply want to schedule your routine eye exam, contact our knowledgeable team at Classic Vision Care. Call us or book an appointment online today.

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